Vail Valley preps: Huskies soccer opens with 4-1 win against Summit
EDWARDS – To think that Battle Mountain soccer’s Cody Hervert theoretically started Thursday night on junior varsity. What’s a guy got to do to make varsity?
“I thought I earned it.” Hervert joked.
Actually Hervert started his third varsity season with the Huskies – his presence on JV was a typo – but if there was any doubt, the senior scored two goals and assisted on another as Battle Mountain won its opener, 4-1, against Summit County Thursday night in Edwards.
“He did pretty well,” Huskies coach David Cope dead-panned. “Two goals tonight. I hope he gets a field goal (Friday) with the football team. That would be pretty cool.”
Yes, the schools’ American football teams meet tonight in Farmer’s Korner – and Hervert sees time as a kicker and wide receiver among other duties as well – but Round 1 of many Shrine Pass meetings in multiple sports went to Battle Mountain Thursday.
The Huskies jumped on the Tigers with two goals in the first nine minutes and played keep-away from there. Summit’s Said Aguillera scored late, giving the Tigers a positive upon which to build.
“Everybody envisions winning their first game,” Summit coach Matt Zeiset said. “Most of our guys don’t play year-round, so I felt that for what we have to work with in terms of time, they did phenomenally tonight. They did the most fundamental thing which is play with heart for the whole entire game.”
Generally, a Hevert’s job is to prevent the other team from scoring, be it Cody, a defender, or his older brother, Clint, a now happily-graduated goalie. But with sophomore Christian Espinoza being the first Battle Mountain player not named Clint Hervert to start in goal 50 games, why not change things around a bit?
In the sixth minute, Alex Trujillo cracked a corner into the box where Cody Hervert got airborne for the header. That bounced around the box to the feet of Haiven Garcia, who had the finish of the evening for 1-0 lead.
Just three minutes later, Jack Sunderland fired a shot into the box. Hervert jumped on the rebound and slammed it home. The senior defender also got the honors of a penalty kick for the Huskies’ fourth goal, and when he came out, the bench was ribbing him about being the team’s leading scorer.
“Shocker, I know,” Hervert joked.
For the record, those were career goals Nos. 5 and 6 for Hervert, whose principle job this year will be to anchor the Battle Mountain defense. But it’s a nice sign for Battle Mountain, which struggled mightily to score in big Slope games last year, to get goals from different players.
“It’s so exciting to start each season,” Cope said. “Each team has its own story. It’s fun to watch the guys compete. Each year, you see players step up their senior year and claim it as their own. It’s fun to see guys like Brian Morales, Sergio Sifuentes, Jack Sunderland, Cody Hervert, Jose Nunez, all of them, step up and be leaders.”
Despite being down 2-0 at the half, Summit almost made a game of it. The Tiers drew a penalty kick, but Keegan Zorens’s shot went wide right.
“World Cup players miss PKs,” Zeiset said. “These guys know they missed chances tonight. We made sure that they didn’t dwell on missed chances, that they realize we played very competitively tonight.”
That could have been a turning point, but then Battle Mountain’s Sunderland grounded a low shot for a 3-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Battle Mountain’s senior-heavy defense played a solid, conservative game in front of Espinoza.
“You’ve got to make sure nothing gets behind you,” Hervert said. “You have to make sure the back four is really organized. (Christian)’s doing well. He’s talking to us.”
Summit hosts Steamboat Springs Tuesday night at 6 at Climax Molybdenum Field at Tiger Stadium, while the Huskies have Palisade Thursday in Edwards.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.